He swore as a butter knife pressed into his neck, sharpened to a point that no other knives in the building were allowed to be. Safety first, make sure they’re kept secure, make sure they’re counted after every meal. It’ll be you they attack first.
And here he was; the one that was attacked first.
Alarms were sounding around him, other prisoners were jeering, other guards were standing around them guns drawn and yelling at the skinny but surprisingly strong man behind him.
But all of that was periphery, barely able to be heard, rather the voice in his head that told him his gun was fully loaded but out of his reach and far too easily reached by a man who had murdered his family only 3 years previously, one of many reasons he was in Barwon High Security in the first place.
His own family flashed into his mind, his 14 month old son had stumbled into his arms in a first successful attempt to walk only yesterday, proudest moment of his life, his wife’s beaming face from where she squatted opposite him, almost in tears at their son’s achievement. He trusted the blokes pointing guns at them entirely, but not enough to have a fleeting moment of panic that he may never see his little boy or beautiful wife again.
‘Listen mate I’m sure we can get through this without it getting wor…’ His voice faded as the knife pressed into his neck more firmly.
‘I want you to listen very carefully. I want you to reach down and un-secure your gun. Don’t take it out, just make sure I can.’
Prison guard 101, don’t give the murderer your own gun.
‘We both know I can’t do that.’
‘Can’t or won’t.’
A philosophizing murderer, wonderful.
‘Un-secure your damn gun!’
It was at that moment he heard the shot ring out and flinched reflexively, the butter knife skidded against his skin, grazing it softly and the arm around his neck became a dead weight with a scream of pain…he was going to have to buy the gunman a drink.